My Summer as a "Little Rocker"
Summers home from college are not like any other. Even though this is my second, I still cannot completely grasp it. After you readjust to living in your own home, you have to find a job or internship, keep up with friends far away, catch up with friends from home and take an online class or two. Personally, I also launched a new website, pushed myself to increase marketing for my photography business, began planning for Harding's next Petit Jean Yearbook and took the typical summer trips (a beach trip and a church camp). If that's not enough, I decided to drive to Little Rock five days a week for eight weeks. Crazy, right? Yes.
One of our close family friends regularly asked me how I was enjoying life as a "Little-Rocker," and, after reflection, I determined that was an accurate way to describe my summer.
This summer I had the amazing opportunity to work as the editorial intern at Arkansas Business Publishing Group (ABPG) in Little Rock, Arkansas. As someone aspiring to work in the field of editorial journalism and magazine publishing, I could not have asked for a better opportunity. I walked into the office the first day intimidated and nervous, and I walked out the door the last day feeling loved and appreciated and wishing it would last just a little bit longer (the office dogs might have helped a little bit).
I was on the special consumer team, and I got to work specifically on four different consumer annual and biannual publications — Arkansas Bride, Arkansas Next, Living in Arkansas and Metro Little Rock Guide.
Arkansas Bride was my favorite publication to work on. I was able to write about 30 blog posts detailing engagement announcements and bridal photoshoots, help with the end of an e-news project, begin working on the feature for the Spring/Summer issue and build my own online blog content series about wedding traditions (be on the lookout, I will share when it goes live). I was also able to post on Instagram and Pinterest, where I focused on cleaning out broken links and building pins strategically to increase click-throughs to the Arkansas Bride website.
Working on Arkansas Next, a magazine guide to life after high school, allowed me to pull from my recent experience. As a college junior with a sister who is about to be a senior in high school, I am well-acquainted with the process of graduating high school. I got to work on a college checklist detailing the things to be done each semester of high school, seven student and young professional profiles, a break-down of Greek Life at public and private universities and a health feature that detailed the necessities of maintaining mental and physical health in college (the "freshman fifteen").
I also got to work on Living in Arkansas and Metro Little Rock Guide, but did not do as much because I arrived at the end or left at the beginning of production. I did, however, get to create a feature on Arkansas hiking trails for Living in Arkansas, a magazine that serves as a relocation guide. I was also able to update and fact check all 14 metro neighborhood profiles, a feature about the up-and-coming big news in Little Rock and the fact sheet about the local economy for the Metro Little Rock Guide.
In addition to writing and honing my copy editing skills, I also learned a lot about the structure of a publication company. I won't bore you with the details unless you just really want, but basically, I got exposure to the sales side of the publication industry. Since most of my experience comes from freelance writing and university publications, I had little to no experience with the role that sales and advertisers play in the world of editorial publications. It is especially crucial in publications like Arkansas Bride.
To say I got to build my portfolio and experience to a max this summer is an understatement. My learning curve was steep, yet I know I still did not soak up everything there was for me to learn at ABPG.
Even though I hated the driving and sometimes felt like my days were sucked right out from under me, I got comfortable making frequent, flying trips to Little Rock, and I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. Thank you to everyone who influenced and mentored me during my time at ABPG, especially my fellow interns, office friends and those on the special consumer publication team! I could not be more thankful for the opportunities with which you have provided me.
For those who are still interested in knowing more about my experiences this summer, don't worry; I plan to post more in the near future about the content I created and more specific things I learned during my summer as a "Little-Rocker."
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